Last night, December 2, SESSION hosted ‘The Art of Good Rest’ a Sleep and Meditation workshop in partnership with facilitator Manoj Dias and Higher Wave Wellness. Strength and conditioning studio SESSION formally launches this month after soft opening earlier this year. While typically offering class-based circuit training workouts, last night’s workshop was on point with SESSION’s approach to looking at “wellness” from all angles, and creating an experience that doesn’t just start and stop with physical exercises. The team encourages clients to look at their stress, sleep and nutrition habits as well as their relationships and personal goals.
With more stimuli than ever before, it is no wonder that we are suffering the effects of poorer diets, increased mental illness and an epidemic lack of sleep. For many, switching off isn’t possible, especially in a city like New York. This workshop introduced participants to the profound benefits of the practice of Yoga Nidra, or ‘sleep meditation’. Yoga Nidra is a 3,000 year old meditative technique designed to help restore our bodies and minds from everyday stress.
Manoj Dias, facilitator of last night’s workshop, is co-founder of A-Space, a meditation studio out of Melbourne Australia that helps people feel more present and connected with themselves and others. A-Space is popping up with workshops in New York, and will be returning for a weekly residency at SESSION in Williamsburg.
Higher Wave Wellness provided optional Daily Dose CBD oil, an organic, hemp extracted Cannabidiol, to last night’s participants prior to the start of the meditation, either diluted in water or via a droplet under the tongue. The immediate effects were not noticeable, as Higher Wave shared that in the short term CBD does not cause drowsiness, but instead actually works to naturally awaken and restore balance to the mind and body. This water-soluble formula contains zero THC, so no intoxication or sense of “getting high”. It’s extracted from sustainably farmed, organic hemp plants on a farm in Oregon that meets non-GMO standards and uses no herbicides or pesticides.
After a droplet of CBD, everyone took their seat on a yoga mat with a blanket and towel roll for under their head, and we were led in a guided meditation by Manoj. He shared in advance that the effect of the experience would be similar to being in “a coma”, where our minds would be alert and hear his voice, but that our bodies would be in a completely restful and restorative state – a state that we only experience on average for 3 minutes during our sleep each night. Despite the initial natural skepticism, this is exactly what happened, and we all remained in this state for approximately 30-45 minutes. Towards the end, Manoj’s voice drifted in and out as my mind fluctuated between his meditation instruction and unrelated visualizations, but without ever falling completely asleep.
Not until last night after coming home and having dinner did I feel like a massive weight was on each of my eyelids and I was completely unable to keep either eye open to the extent that I almost fell asleep on the couch but forced myself to stumble up to bed and slept an incredible and uninterrupted (not even to pee) 7 hours. Would highly (no pun!) recommend this or a similar workshop to anyone looking to learn more about their stress, sleep/wake cycle, and to naturally improve on both.
Also published on Medium.